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  • Step 1

    Decide on the factors affecting your decision and list them in the first column below

  • Step 2

    Weight the factors affecting your decision. The higher the number you enter, the more important the factor

  • Step 3

    List all of your possible options. These are the potential answers to your question

  • Step 4

    Give each option a score against every factor to produce your very own Weighted Decision

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How to use the weighted decision matrix

Click to skip and go straight to the Weighted Decision Matrix.

The first thing to consider is obvious – what’s the decision you need to make!  It could be something simple or more fundamental, it really doesn’t matter, the decision matrix will cope with either scenario.  We like to use it for big family decisions such as where to go on holiday or what sort of car do we get next.  You can all look at the screen, decide on the factors involved and then debate the scores and when you do that all angles are covered.  Coming soon, you’ll be able to save the decision you reached and send it to your friends and family via email, Facebook or Twitter!  So, what to do…

1. As above, choose the question to answer, double click on the “Type your question here” cell and type it in

2. Next you need to decide on the factors involved in the decision you are making.  When considering the question think Who, When, Why, What and How to prompt you to think of everything you need to.  Look at our example on the home page to get you started.

3. Now you need to weight the factors you settled on in 2.  It’s easiest to do this by giving the most important factor a value of 5 and the least important a value of 1.  It’s important to do this but if you really can’t decide on the order it is okay to give two factors a weighting that is the same.  We don’t recommend it as you are less likely to get a clear result but hey, that’s up to you.

4. List all of your possible options on the options row next, any order you like.

5. The final step is to score all of your options out of 5 or 10 or even a hundred against all of the different factors.  So option A may score a 5 for the first factor but only a 1 for the second but both could end up with the same weighted score depending on how you set up the weightings in step 3.  Confused?  Just have a go and it will all become clear.

We will be making a video to show all of this shortly so don’t forget to come back soon to check it out but if you get really stuck you can tweet us or ask a question on Facebook as well.  Have fun!

Weighted Decision Making Matrix Tool

Use our free weighted decision making tools and templates to help you decide what to do!  Take a screen print and share your decision with friends (Ctrl + PrtSc on PC or CmdShift3 on a Mac).

You can also download a decision matrix here:

What to look for when buying a house

Buying a house will be the single most expensive decision you ever make.  Considering you will be living there for a good few years and paying for it for even longer it’s probably best you give it some thought!

Talking to an estate agent recently, I was amazed when they told me that some people will have a 10 minute walk around the house then make an offer.  Stop!  Don’t do that, make a list of everything you need to factor into the decision and then take a weighted decision using our tool here.

We’ve thought of a few things you need to consider but let us know if you’ve got anything we’ve missed via the comments.

I’ll skip over the cost, hopefully by now you will have researched what you can afford and at least have a target price in mind. If not then there are loads of mortgage calculators our their to help you.  Everyone always says that the most important factor is location, location, location and you know what they’re right!  But check it out properly, the house might be in the right place but if it takes 10 minutes to turn out of the drive in the morning because of traffic you might want to think again.  Has that ever happened to you?

So here are some things to consider but if you want a really exhaustive list of everything to consider and more besides check out the link to money saving expert at the bottom.

First of all, on viewing the property do you smile, do you whisper, “I love it” to your partner?  Has it got the wow factor?  This is a gut feel, emotional response but who wants to get all objective about buying your home?  Well, actually we do because emotion is all well and good but it doesn’t pay for the damp in the loft you forgot to check out or the plumbing that doesn’t work properly does it?  So, always do a proper fault check and let your head rule your heart on this one.  Any faults needn’t be a deal breaker just negotiate the cost of repair off of the price.

Consider the distance to work and or school.  Are they in opposite directions for example!  Obvious but not everyone thinks this through apparently and you don’t want to be racing to work everyday, stressed and late do you now.

Is the neighbourhood as good as you think or is it actually better than expected?  Talk to people, talk to the local policeman and post office owner.  They will all have valuable insights and experience you may not have.

Lastly, it’s nice to have a big garden isn’t it?  Actually it isn’t if you hate cutting the grass, weeding or picking up leaves in the autumn so be realistic and don’t become a slave to it.

So much to think about isn’t there?  What tips do you have when buying a house?  Please let us know in the comments and use the decision matrix here.

Moneysavingexpert.com

What car should I decide to buy?

The question of how to choose a new car affects most people every few years and the decision can be a nightmare! We put our thoughts into a weighted decision making template here but you can edit and change all the factors as much as you like.

Probably the most important factor for most people is the cost of a new car but you have to weigh up the option of buying cheap with the cost of repairs and servicing.  It can all be a bit of a false economy.  When you add to that how many mile per gallon you’re going to get it really does start to become a sensible decision, but it’s not much fun is it?

Added into our matrix are the two very important factors of “Cool” and “0-60″.  Depending on your age I suspect the weightings of these Vs. the other factors will vary hugely.  Twenty years ago we wanted to go fast and look cool but now it’s more important to have luggage space, room for the kids and to get good fuel economy.  Yawn!

Some people will place a lot of value on the colour of a car and others will want to endlessly read the brochure to understand the detail around how the radio can be programmed and what the gear ratios are like.  If that’s important to you put them into the template, just don’t tell us all about them!

There’s loads of factors to consider when buying a car, let us know the most important ones for you in the comments below and don’t forget to like us on Facebook just over on the right of this page!